WASHINGTON POST - Feb 13 - Basic biology may play at least as strong a role in love as do socialization, environment, fate and other factors. "Some of our very complex behaviors like love is still regulated, to some degree, by a fairly simple set of neurochemicals”, says neuroendocrinologist Tom Sherman, an associate professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Researchers have now identified three brain systems that are at work in mating and reproduction: lust, which is primarily mediated by the sex hormone testosterone; romantic love, which is primarily mediated by dopamine, a neurotransmitter that drives the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, and is characterized by craving and focused attention for just one person at a time. However, it remains to be seen how big a part neurochemicals and brain circuits play in love and relationships. A new study found that monkeys that inhaled oxytocin paid more attention to one another and treated one another more kindly.
by Carolyn Butler
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